Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Seventeen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous
anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, THE MYSTERY MEGAPACK, LIBRARY JOURNAL, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. She’s also an amateur landscape artist and enjoys listening to blue grass music. She loves hearing from readers. Her writer’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com
Be sure to join Jacqueline Seewald for a LIVE Facebook chat today at Noon (EST)
There seems to be some confusion as to whether romantic mystery and romantic suspense are the same genre of fiction. In fact, they are not. In my Kim Reynolds mystery series, there are three main characters featured in the novels which are romantic mysteries, the fourth book being THE BAD WIFE. Kim Reynolds, librarian sleuth and reluctant psychic, is the central character in this series.
In romantic suspense, the mystery is secondary to the romance. Plot focus is always on the romance while the mystery merely offers a plot device, usually ways to bring the hero and heroine closer together.
In a romantic mystery, the love interest is secondary. The mystery and finding its solution is the key plot factor. The romantic aspect usually serves to provide added depth to the main character(s) and make them more real to the reader.
In romantic suspense there is always a happy ending with the couple united at the end in the love of their lives. In romantic mystery novels, which are often part of a series like mine, that is not necessarily the case–although it can be. Also in a romantic mystery series the main protagonists are more like real people with their lives changing and their character developing. Ideally, these novels are not static–one reason a romantic mystery series can grow in popularity and recognition.
My latest novel, THE INHERITANCE, is a stand alone romantic mystery. Romance and mystery elements are about equally balanced. It’s a fast-paced mystery with cozy as well as romantic elements.
As a reader, I enjoy both types of genres and consider each very satisfying. As a writer, I like to experiment with both types of fiction as well.
Any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Do you prefer one type of genre over another and if so why?
February 17, 2017 at 7:12 am
Romantic mysteries emphasize mystery over romance, but there’s a romantic element, whereas romantic suspense does emphasize the romance more than the mystery. I try to develop quality mystery with romance as part of character development.
Sherrie, thank you for hosting my blog as well as that of so many other authors!
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February 17, 2017 at 7:19 pm
I am honored that you wrote stich a fantastic Guest post for me! Plead come back anytime.
February 17, 2017 at 5:51 am
As a mystery lover, first and foremost, romantic suspense almost always leaves me wanting more…mystery, that is. I’ve really had to dig through the so-called category to find the nuggets that you’ve so aptly named romantic mystery.
When I started writing myself, I focused heavily on the mystery aspects of my books and made the romance secondary. I struggled then to describe them to readers who’ve become familiar with romantic suspense who felt they were too light on romance/too heavily focused on mystery. In answer, I’ve written a couple of cozies that are ‘all mystery’ to focus on a wholly different market and potential fan base and I’ve thought about doing some darker mainstream mystery too. For me though, having that romantic element really helped the story. It gave it a depth that the cozies, for example, just didn’t have without major character development of my leads and a lot more focus on the villains.
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February 17, 2017 at 6:16 am
Anne, I am delighted that you shared your writing passion with us this morning. If you would like to connect with many other like minded authors in the romantic suspense category, we are in the midst of a free online event at http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com. Connect with the authors through live chat sessions, read other reviews, interviews, and guest posts. We even have games and contests and are giving away over 120 books. Thanks so much for stopping by this morning. Sherrie